Pituitary Gland

What is the pituitary gland?

The pituitary gland is located in the brain and is an endocrine gland. This means that it produces chemicals called hormones. Hormones are chemical messengers which help different organs in the body communicate with each other. The pituitary gland is one part of a messenger system. The pituitary gland helps to control your body’s functions by releasing hormones into your bloodstream. These hormones are transported in your blood to their target. Here they usually cause the release of a second hormone. The target can either be specialised endocrine glands or other types of body tissue such as groups of cells.


The pituitary gland is sometimes called the master gland because it controls several other hormone-releasing glands. Some of the glands the pituitary gland controls are the thyroid gland, the ovaries, the testicles (testes) and the adrenal glands.